In a corporate report presented at General Committee today, staff from the City of Mississauga’s Forestry section provided an informational overview of the suggested updates to the City’s Public Tree By-law.
“Trees play a crucial role for cities like Mississauga by improving livability. They are essential for creating and maintaining a healthy community,” said Jodi Robillos, Director, Parks, Forestry and Environment. “Over the last few years, trees within the city have come under increased threat due to disease, invasive species, climate change and human-driven damage. Through the updated Public Tree By-law, the City continues to prioritize tree health and well-being because of the endless benefits they provide. The draft Public Tree By-law clearly outlines the Tree Protection and Preservation Standards that will guide the public, development community and City staff.”
The draft Public Tree By-law will protect more than 300,000 trees on City streets and parks and was developed in response to recommendations made in the City’s Future Directions Master Plan, Urban Forest Management Plan and Natural Heritage and Urban Forest Strategy. The revised draft by-law:
· regulates the planting, maintenance and removal of trees on public property
· provides greater clarity on by-law violations
· references a public tree permit process
· allows the City to prosecute corporations or individuals who don’t adhere to the by-law.
“The City of Mississauga enacted its first Public Tree By-law in 1975 to regulate the planting, maintenance and protection of trees and shrubs on public lands. The existing Public Tree By-law is outdated and no longer meets current standards,” said Brent Reid, Manager, Forestry. “The updated standards lay out the City expectations relating to tree protection on all projects that involve City-owned trees including tree protection fencing, securities and replacement requirements.”
Updates and improvements to the protection of City trees include:
· Prohibiting storage of material, equipment or anything that would impede the health of a tree’s root zone
· Requiring approval for work within the tree protection zone as identified and approved by City staff and prohibiting grade changes in the tree protection zone
· Prohibiting dangerous liquids, gaseous or solid substances to come into contact with the tree’s root system
· Prohibiting the removal of any woody debris that has fallen or been cut down by the City in a natural area and left
· Prohibiting planting of trees on public land. In the event trees are planted on public land, the by-law stipulates that the subject tree becomes public and subject to the terms of the draft by-law
The draft Public Tree By-law would also introduce new permit fees for work that may impact City-owned trees.
Both the City’s draft Public Tree By-law and the Private Tree By-law will undergo community consultation this summer. Stakeholders will be asked to provide feedback about the new updates for the Public Tree By-law and submit feedback about what they would like to see changed in the Private Tree By-law.
For more information about trees in Mississauga, visit mississauga.ca/services-and-programs/forestry-and-environment/.